If you’re looking to sample Malta’s traditional meals, Malta’s customary approach to food has seen travellers come back for more.
There’s no shortage of eateries in Malta, but the discerning visitors will want to seek out those places serving more traditional fare. It’s part of the immersive experience that most die-hard travellers seek.
So what should you look for to get that truly immersive experience? There are two different approaches you can take in your quest for authentic Maltese cuisine
This is the food that most will easily associate with Malta. In fact, much of it is still eaten in Maltese households quite regularly. Most dishes are rather frugal, a reflection of harder times gone by. But the Maltese cook’s ability to coax flavour out of the most ordinary of meat cuts is legendary. This, combined with the use of the freshest ingredients imaginable makes for a much-coveted cuisine. Here are some dishes to look out for:
The Lesser Known
The more adventurous the traveller, the harder it is to quell his or her craving for truly unique dining experiences. It’s the odd dishes, the lesser known ones that appeal to this type of traveller most of all. If this is what gets your taste buds going, try some of these dishes:
- Sfineg – these deep-fried dough balls are stuffed with a small amount of anchovies or dried cod. They’re delicious and cheap, which is good, because you can’t just have one (or two).
- Kirxa – tripe in Malta is normally served as a stew with vegetables, not unlike the famous trippa fiorentina.
- Bebbux – like their French counterpart, snails in the Maltese style are served in a garlic-rich sauce. Make sure you have plenty of Maltese bread to soak up the sauce.
- Laħam taz-ziemel – horse meat is recently gaining popularity once again. It has a rich flavour and, in the right hands, is as tender as any other cut of meat.
- Bakkaljaw – dried salt-cod is popular all over the Mediterranean, although dwindling cod stocks are making it harder to find. The Maltese have a number of preparations for salt-cod, including a stew, fricassee, and in sfineg (see above).
- Fritturi tal-moħħ – calf or lamb brain fritters. For those with the stomach for it, brain fritters are a culinary revelation – rich, creamy with an almost dairy-like taste. The Maltese preparation includes eggs, garlic, and parsley. Only for true gastronomes (and zombies).